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Blyth RNLI Lifeboat trial is a success

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew from Blyth RNLI welcomed in the New Year with news that the trial of the Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat had been successful and an upgraded asset will join the fleet around 2020.

RNLI/Adrian Don

Blyth RNLI Atlantic 75 out on exercise

The upgraded asset will be an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat which is planned to go on service at Blyth RNLI in 2020 once construction work has been completed to enable it and the current D-Class lifeboat “D-746 Alan & Amy to operate effectively at the existing lifeboat station.

Following an extensive review of the coastline by the RNLI in 2015, a trial of the Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat it was confirmed that an Atlantic 85 would effectively meet the needs of the area.

As Blyth waterfront continues to see exciting development, an increase in demand from sports, recreational and leisure marine users is expected. Also, the development of the waterfront and harbour area could generate additional beach and coastal incidents as people spend more time around the water.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat is one of the fastest in the RNLI fleet with a top speed of 35 knots. The B-Class inshore lifeboat can handle challenging open sea conditions – force 7 near gale winds in daylight and force 6 at night with an endurance of 3 hours.

Barry Pearson, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Blyth RNLI, said: ‘The volunteer crew here at the station have been working incredibly hard during the trial and that investment is demonstrated with the arrival of the new Atlantic 85 lifeboat confirmed for 2020.

‘The public can be reassured that the cover provided by the RNLI around the local coast is comprehensive between our station and our neighbouring stations, Newbiggin,Cullercoats and Tynemouth. There has been concern locally that since the RNLI all-weather lifeboat left Blyth in 2004 that cover has reduced, but in fact the RNLI has improved the coverage available for the nature of incident that take place on the coast.’

The Atlantic 85 comes with radar capability and VHF direction-finding equipment which aids finding a casualty vessel in restricted visibility and can have a maximum crew of 4.

The existing D-Class “Alan & Amy” and the B-Class “Vic & Billie Whiffen” will remain in service at Blyth whilst the works are undertaken.

As well as confirmation of the new lifeboat, work is underway at the station to improve the facilities and provide more opportunities for the local community to visit the station and see the lifesaving operation.


RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Robin Palmer, RNLI volunteer Crew Member and Lifeboat Press Officer on 07801 290638 or robin_palmer@rnli.org.uk or Nicola Quinn Regional Media Manager on 07810 658072 or Nicola_quinn@rnli.org.uk or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789

RNLI/Adrian Don

RNLI/Press Office

Stock image of an Atlantic 85

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland